Augusta Business Daily

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Coach David: 3 smart ways to build a healthy work environment

David Holdeman is a Business Coach and Facilitator with The Alternative Board (TAB) in the CSRA.

Fostering wellness in the workplace is just good business. Employees who feel respected, safe, and mentally healthy perform higher, are more satisfied with their jobs, and are substantially less likely to resign than those who feel undervalued, stressed, or burned out.

It makes sense, particularly within the current labor market. The labor pool is much savvier than they were just a few short years ago. They value themselves and their time more. They feel a sense of control related to their jobs that were mostly lacking before the pandemic. And even though current employment dynamics are volatile, workers who feel slighted, unhappy, or unhealthy with their current employer are more than willing to look for a job elsewhere. Maybe even with the competition.

While there is no universal answer as to what constitutes a healthy work environment, there are some common elements that most thriving company cultures have in common:

  • Alignment of Common Goals
  • Collaboration and Team Mindedness
  • Commitment to Excellence
  • Opportunity for Advancement and Development
  • Recognition of Achievements and Accomplishments
  • Respectful and Forthcoming Communications  
  • Hiring for Cultural Alignment

Wellness in the workplace is a core value that intelligent business owners infuse throughout their strategic vision. Identifying where you might need to catch up in your workplace wellness initiatives is the first step to building an environment where your people thrive. One of the best ways to do that is to hear what your team has to say.

Schedule one-on-ones with as many employees as possible and ask them the hard questions. Or consider creating an anonymous electronic survey. Either way, let them know you are there to listen, not judge or defend. Consider asking them:

What do you like about your job and work environment? What don’t you like? How would you rate our company culture on a scale of 1-10? If you were the boss, what would you do differently? How can we do better and be better?

Take lots of notes. Likely, you will notice there are some recurring themes. Please pay special attention to those because they appear pervasive throughout the group consciousness. Build a spreadsheet with the good, the bad, and the ugly insight you garnered from your team. Include a separate column of issues and ideas you believe are worthy of action. That is your starting point for the real work of building a healthy, content, and productive environment.

While you will learn a great deal from these conversations, remember that wellness in the workplace starts at the top – and that means, you as the business owner.

Here are three smart actions you can take as a business owner to bolster your company culture and build a healthy, thriving workplace:

  1. Regularly Express Gratitude & Appreciation – Recognition is a big deal for today’s workforce and can substantially improve engagement, performance, and productivity. Consider a reward system, but also regularly offer verbal acknowledgment.
  2. Establish a Trusting, Caring & Safe Environment – Check in with your employees regularly. Show your team that you have a sincere interest in their health and happiness at work and home.
  3. Create Opportunities for Growth – Employee and leadership development initiatives show your team that you are invested in their long-term personal success. Consider creating mentorship programs or other learning and growth opportunities.

Are you interested in more ways to enhance workplace wellness in your business? Feel free to DM me for information on how joining a TAB Board can help you improve your company culture. Email me at

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